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Local Author Night Ft. Libby Hellman, Rita Dragonette, Ava Black, G.W. Kennedy, and Pete Leki

It's Local Author Night at The Book Cellar featuring Libby Fischer Hellman (High Crimes), Rita Dragonette (the Fourteenth of September), Ava Black (The Bug Jar), G.W. Kennedy (A Necessary Hero), and Pete Leki (The Fight Between Quiet and Noise).



About Libby Fischer Hellman

Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Thirteen novels and twenty short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery writing community and has even won a few. More at

About High Crimes

How do you solve a murder when there are 42,000 suspects? That’s the task facing Chicago PI Georgia Davis, hired to hunt down those ultimately responsible for the assassination of Resistance leader Dena Baldwin at a demonstration fourteen months after the 2016 election. The gunman, on a nearby hotel rooftop, dies within minutes of the shooting. As Georgia sifts through Dena’s 42,000 Facebook followers, she discovers that unknown enemies hiding behind fake profiles have infiltrated the group. She finds others who will do whatever it takes—including murder—to shield right-wing, wealthy elites. When Georgia begins piecing together the facts, relatives of both victims mysteriously disappear, and the danger escalates. Threats and bruises have never frightened Georgia, but she’s side-swiped by the sudden reappearance of the mother who abandoned her when she was a child. Can she survive an emotional family crisis at the same time she pursues killers whose only goal is to protect themselves?

About Rita Dragonette:

Rita Dragonette is a writer who, after spending nearly thirty years telling the stories of others as an award-winning public relations executive, has returned to her original creative path. The Fourteenth of September, her debut novel from She Writes Press, is based upon personal experiences on campus during the Vietnam War, and she is currently at work on three other books: an homage to The Sun Also Rises about expats chasing their last dream in San Miguel de Allende, a World War II novel based upon her interest in the impact of war on and through women, and a memoir in essays. She lives and writes in Chicago, where she also hosts literary salons to showcase authors and their new books to avid readers.

About The Fourteenth of September

On September 14, 1969, Private First Class Judy Talton celebrates her nineteenth birthday by secretly joining the campus anti-Vietnam War movement. In doing so, she jeopardizes both the army scholarship that will secure her future and her relationship with her military family. But Judy’s doubts have escalated with the travesties of the war. Who is she if she stays in the army? What is she if she leaves?

The Fourteenth of September portrays a pivotal time at the peak of the Vietnam War through the rare perspective of a young woman, tracing her path of self-discovery and a “Coming of Conscience.” Judy’s story speaks to the poignant clash of young adulthood, early feminism, and war, offering an ageless inquiry into the domestic politics of protest when the world stops making sense.

About Ava Black

Living in the deep woods of Wisconsin, Ava Black has been a fan of spine-tingling stories from a young age. Things that go bump in the night invigorate her to delve deeper into the human psyche and twist her characters lives into a chaotic mess that only the truly sane can untangle. Her short story "The Box" was recently published by Spinetingler Magazine and her crime fiction reviews and author interviews can be found at Crimepsree Magazine. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. Get connected at or drop her a line at

About The Bug Jar:

For make-up salesgirl Samantha Holland, life is a constant struggle to cling to reality. Her tenuous hold on sanity is exacerbated by a toxic affair with wealthy and powerful State Representative Richard Harrison, who gets sadistic pleasure toying with her already confused mind. But Sam comes closest to losing her grip when Harrison’s emotionally disturbed stepson is murdered—and the police suspect her. When Harrison tries to break off their relationship, Sam tries to save herself by piecing together patchy memories of what might be her own involvement in the killing. The truth she uncovers is more sinister than she could have imagined.

About G.W. Kennedy:

An alumnus of Rice University, with graduate degrees from Penn and Buffalo, G.W. Kennedy was a college English professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago.  After leaving academia, Kennedy worked as an editor and communications manager for several Chicago companies.  He has published a number of short stories as well as articles and essays, including "op-ed" pieces in the Chicago Tribune. He is the author of the Ben Barklee mysteries, Purpose Pitch, Dead Arm, and Save Situation.

About A Necessary Hero:

Chicago, 1942. Can a reclusive and cynical factory janitor prevent the IRA from changing history?

With US participation in World War II getting underway, John Mackenzie Simmons III "Mack" is in a difficult position. His draft status is 4F. He has lost an eye in a drunk-driving accident two years earlier, transforming him into a self-proclaimed "one-eyed freak." The driver was Mack's best friend, Thomas Kilkenny. After the accident, Tommy suddenly joins the US Army Air Corps, becoming a skilled pilot of a B-17 bomber. When Tommy dies in combat, Mack's wealthy and powerful father wants to make Tommy the war's first American hero to help promote the war. But first, they have to know if Tommy's father, a corrupt Chicago alderman, is involved in criminal activities hampering the war effort and won't stand up to scrutiny. Mack's father orders him to find out. But as Mack digs for the truth, he uncovers much more than Mafia connections, stumbling upon an IRA plot that could change the course of the war.


About Pete Leki:

Pete Leki is a teacher of Ecology at Waters Elementary School: the local Chicago Public School.  The school has transformed in the past 25 years from dilapidated, low scoring, and impoverished, to an island of progressive education and 3.5 acres of fabulous gardens.  Leki was one of the founders of Riverbank Neighbors, who have worked to restore ecological health, accessibility and beauty to a 4.5 block section of the Chicago River’s east bank. The combination of work, learning, friendship and celebration has become a model for urban restoration organizations.  Pete is a musician and member of the Bullfrogs Community Choir, and lives surrounded by beloved family and community.

About The Fight Between Quiet and Noise:

For most of human history, the Earth was a quiet place, comforting to the ear and to the spirit. One day Noise moved in, and conflict arose. Which will prevail? Quiet or Noise? It is up to us. For ages 3-90.

Event date: 
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
High Crimes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938733956
Availability: Special Order- EITHER on our shelves or available to order
Published: Red Herrings Press - November 1st, 2018

The Fourteenth of September Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631524530
Availability: Special Order- EITHER on our shelves or available to order
Published: She Writes Press - September 18th, 2018

A Necessary Hero Cover Image
ISBN: 9781626949751
Availability: Special Order- EITHER on our shelves or available to order
Published: Black Opal Books - August 11th, 2018

Events Terms: 
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